Palone gets by Mackin twice to go undefeated on Tri-State Tour

Randy Mackin, Joe Palone and Rick Shellhouse

They battled first for the hot seat, and again, in the finals. Both times, Joe Palone came out on top to complete an undefeated day on the Tri-State Tour. Double tour ranking points were offered to the 41 participants who signed on to the $750-added, A-D handicapped event on Saturday, January 28, which was hosted by Port Richmond Billiards in Staten Island, NY.

Following victories over Rajesh Vannala, Joe Landi and two straight double hill wins over Joe Landi and Paul Spaanstra, Palone moved among the winners' side final four to take on Rhio Anne (Annie) Flores. Mackin, in the meantime, squared off against Tony Ignomirello. Palone sent Flores west 7-2, as Mackin was busy defeating Ignomirello 6-3. The first of their two battles, for the hot seat, proved to be the most competitive, as they fought back and forth to double hill before Palone prevailed.

Flores moved to the loss side and picked up Vannala, who'd defeated Spaanstra 7-4 and prevailed in a double hill match against Gary Murgia to reach her. Ignomirello drew Rick Shellhouse, who'd gotten by Mike Davie 6-4 and Ben Castaneros 6-3. Vannala then ended Flores' day with a 7-4 win, and moved into the quarterfinals against Shellhouse, who'd given up only a single rack in his match against Ignomirello.

It was Shellhouse advancing to the semifinals against Mackin, with an 8-6 win over Vannala. Mackin, though, ended Shellhouse's loss-side run with a 6-2 win in those semifinals to earn a second chance against Palone. Though Mackin opened the finals with a single victory, Palone put a stop to any ideas of another double hill battle, and won seven of the next nine, to complete his undefeated day.

Tour representatives thanked Gary Murgia for his efforts in ensuring a great environment for the tournament, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next Tri-State event, a $1,000-added, C/D event at Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY, is scheduled for Saturday, February 4.